Have you ever tried to eat a tea cake? This may seem a hard task at first. Until you learn how to cook it. This is not a description of puer production process! If you feel puzzled, here is the answer: we simply use tea to make what I call a true puer cake.
For this particular cake I used Imperial Blend, but any puer you fancy would do.
What are the health benefits of puer tea?
Since long ago puer tea was famous for its medicinal properties. Being recognized as the most consumed tea worldwide, for hundreds of years puer has had a place in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine. The healing powers of this tea have always been praised by TCM practitioners. Since both foods and medicines come from natural plants, there is no definite difference between them. Thus in traditional Chinese herbalism, puer tea is considered to open the meridians and be beneficial to ‘blood cleansing’ and digestion. Puer has also been used to treat a number of other conditions.
One of the most fascinating teas in the world, puer represents a perfect combination of vitamins and essential minerals. It is also believed to be a source of vital energy. As a part of a healthy diet, drinking pu-erh on a daily basis brings immediate benefits. It is widely acknowledged that pu-erh may lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and increase metabolism. In recent years, studies investigating health benefits of puer tea have also shown healing effects on oxidative stress, blood sugar and the bacterial flora of the intestines. Drinking puer reduces the risk of cancer. The fact that this tea has an effect on body weight remains a disputable topic. Though there are researches who believe drinking pu-erh may cause a certain weight loss by helping to increase the speed of digestion.
Why use puer tea for cooking?
If you consider yourself a tea aficionado and want every moment of your life to be a part of unique tea experience, there is a solution. The fact that tea itself may be used for cooking considerably expands the area of its usage. Having learned a couple of useful “tea recipes”, you can not only nourish your passion for tea, but satisfy hunger in a less poetic way. To all the questions which may ever give you trouble the prompt and single answer still seems to be: “Go have some tea”. Though it is not specified whether you should drink it or not.
Cooking a puer tea cake
A Chinese proverb says: “Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.” What if we combine the notions of tea and food and put it on a dinner plate? Or in a baking pan, to be more exact?
The basic ingredients:
- 500g flour
- 150g sugar
- 1 cup puer tea
- 3 tablespoons jam
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Dried fruits/nuts/whatever you like – unlimited
As you may see the list contains no products of animal origin. Therefore a tea cake seems to be a perfect solution for those who keep to a vegan or vegetarian diet.
The cooking process itself is so simple you can do it with closed eyes. All you have to do is to mix all the ingredients. I mixed all the dry ingredients first, adding tea, blueberry jam and vegetable oil afterwards. In fact you can use any other type of tea, though puer remains the best choice, which is proved by my own experience. It is better to use a sourish jam and add a little of sugar, or honey instead of jam – in this case you add no sugar at all. If everything is done right, the dough has a consistency of Greek yoghurt. Dried fruits and nuts which are additional ingredients will help you to make the cake the healthiest meal of a day. I sliced up some dates, dried apricots and prunes. About 2/3 was mixed with dough, and the rest I used to decorate the cake after it was done.
After the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Butter the base of a round cake pan. Then pour the mixture into prepared pan and bake for 30-45 minutes. Well done! What you need to do next is to take a glass of fresh carrot juice – this is exactly what I did – and enjoy your puer tea cake.
A few photo’s from my culinary experience
This post was writen by Alesia – Daoli Russia Project Manager. Among her recent discoveries – handmade Puer&Honey soap. Stay tuned!